All parents and carers are invited to attend our parents’ forum which meets after school 2 – 3 times per year. These meetings with the Headteacher and Chair of Governors are a really valuable opportunity for consultation and discussion about a variety of school issues.
Members of the forum are welcome to suggest agenda items on any topic which is of general interest but we do not discuss any issues or complaints relating to individual students. The forum is not a fixed group and parents are not asked to participate in other activities such as fund-raising etc.
The full Minutes of the last meeting held on 24th February are available to read on the website (or follow this link). However, below are some extracts from the notes of the last meeting: if you have any comments or questions relating to these, please contact Mrs S Tottman, in the first instance. (email:email@example.com)
Length of the School Day
Mr Brown outlined the existing timings of the school day, noting that the requirement to commute between sites at morning break placed unacceptable pressure on staff and could be detrimental to lessons. After receiving feedback from staff, he was proposing that the school day commence 5 minutes earlier, at 8.40am. This would allow a longer (25 minute) morning break which should make commuting much less stressful for staff. As this was a very minor change, there would not need to be any change to the morning school transport arrangements.
Mr Brown then explained that he was reviewing the scheduling of on-going professional development for staff and observed that this inevitably tended to take place at the end of the school day when staff were tired. He was exploring ways that professional development could take place during the school day but without the loss of teaching time, possibly by making small adjustments to a normal day.
Members of the forum were concerned that a possible early finish for students in such circumstances caused considerable difficulties for some working parents of younger students or those whose students could not make their own way home at the end of the day.
Homework and E-Learning.
In the course of discussion the following points were raised:
- The ability to monitor homework online was very useful although, on occasions, homework instructions were a little imprecise.
- Homework due dates were not always updated, particularly when students had been given an extension.
- Where students were directed to use the internet it was important that this was purposeful. Ideally the objective of the task would be indicated when the homework was set.
Mr Brown undertook to address these concerns in discussion with Leaders of Learning.
Mr Brown reported that he was exploring ways to broaden opportunities for parents’ voice and invited members of the forum to suggest ways of improving the flow of information between the school and parents. He would also be reviewing the level of empowerment offered by the Student council.
The following suggestions were made:
- Establish an on-line questionnaire to give parents the opportunity to raise issues.
- Provide suggestions boxes, particularly for sixth form students.
- Include extracts from the Parents’ Forum minutes on the Web site with an invitation to parents to submit their comments on any items of interest.
- Make use of an Imberhorne Twitter account/ wiki space.
- Improve the way students are kept informed of school related matters.